En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - September 03, 2010

From: Rosenberg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: How can I tell the age of a Pecan tree in Rosenberg, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

How can I tell the age of a Pecan tree? I live on the Brazos River and have a lot of large Pecan trees but the largest is approx. 11 ft. around.

ANSWER:

The answer depends on how precise you want to be. The most accurate method would be to cut down the tree and count the growth rings. That sounds a little drastic, so I will give you a couple of alternatives

This link suggests that there is a good correlation between the circumference of the tree and its age (circumference in inches equals age in years), and its easy enough to measure the circumference of the tree. Or this link suggests a similar correlation between the diameter of the tree and its age. You'll have to use some math skills to determine the diameter  ( d = C/pi).

The third method invovles extracting a core sample from the trunk of the tree using an increment borer. This technique is commonly used by foresters as a management tool in forests. You of course would need to have an increment borer and some expertise in using it and in handling and analyzing the core once it is obtained.

I've included links to the University of Tennesee and Auburn University for extensive descriptions on the use of an increment borer.

If you choose to go the increment borer route, the folks at the Fort Bend county office of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service or the Houston office of the Texas Forest Service may be able to help.

 

More Trees Questions

Watering Native Trees in Georgetown, TX
July 19, 2012 - I installed a native/adapted plantscape in early March including several small trees. They were planted in the rocky soil west of I-35 in Georgetown with plenty of added compost and mulch. Other than ...
view the full question and answer

Need advice for pruning a young Bur Oak tree in Austin, TX.
November 02, 2010 - I grew a beautiful bur oak from seed, and three years later it is now taller than I am. I hate to cut anything off this tree and hurt it, but there are two branches that are rubbing together and growi...
view the full question and answer

Why is my 3 year old Redbud not flowering in San Marcos, TX?
March 24, 2010 - My Cercis canadensis var. mexicana, purchased at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, is 3 years old, very robust, but has never bloomed. Any explanation?
view the full question and answer

Seasoning oak for burning
December 18, 2008 - I have an oak on my property that has been dead for at least two years. It has produced no leaves. When I cut it down (it was 93 inches around), it looked extremely healthy. We split it up and my f...
view the full question and answer

Tree planting in OH
June 12, 2011 - When transplanting a tree (a maple in Spring in my case now), I understand that one should leave a surrounding doughnut like ridge around the root base to hold in the water from rains and irrigation. ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center